Chainsaws For Beginners
Chainsaws for The Garden
If you are looking for a high-quality chainsaw for use around your garden, farm or smallholding then this concise guide to domestic saws should tell you all you need to know . Whether you’re looking for something small and simple for occasional logging up; something with a bit more grunt to prune back those precarious overhanging branches, or perhaps you’re looking to clear a patch of woodland and need powerful yet simple all-rounder – we’ve got the saw for you.
Of course, if you’re looking for a really serious saw for professional use you might be better off getting in touch with the guys over at our sister site ForestandArb.com for the very best expert advice.
We have literally dozens and dozens of chainsaws available and with so many to choose from deciding on the right saw for you can seem daunting. Fear not, we’ve whittled the list down to a manageable handful of chainsaws which we think will be the best choices for the home gardener.
Logging Up / Pruning
Lightweight and well balanced the CS-310ES is as perfectly suited to logging up as it is for light pruning tasks. Designed to be user-friendly, the CS-310ES’s robust and reliable 30.5cc two-stroke engine is easy to start (that’s what the “ES” stands for!) even in cold weather. An innovative anti-icing system provides further protection from the cold ensuring efficient, smooth running all year round.
The Echo CS-310ES comes with either a 12” or 14” guide bar as standard – just the right size to offer optimum cutting power without being overbalanced and the low weight of the saw (just 4kg) ensures the saw remains manageable enough that it can cope with most garden pruning jobs and even the felling of smaller trees.
Regular maintenance is essential for all garden machinery however innovative design can often help minimise maintenance demands. Just such innovation is evident in Echo’s range of saws with their “G-Force Engine Air Pre-Cleaner” system which reduces engine exposure to dirt and debris. This should extend the life of the saw and keep maintenance costs to a minimum.
Easy to start, simple to use and dependably robust the CS-310ES is a perfect starter saw for beginners and is just as suited to light professional work. With Echo offering a 2-year professional warranty and a reassuringly long 5-year domestic warranty on all their products, you can be sure of many happy years of use.
Power Output: 1.1kW
Dry Weight: 4.0kg
Bar Length: 12" (35cm) / 14" (36cm)
Chain Pitch: 3/8"
Chain Speed: 22.86m/s
Fuel Tank Capacity: 0.25L
Warranty: 5 Year Domestic / 2 Year Commercial
If you find the thought of petrol or two-stroke machines daunting, then you may want to consider a cordless electric saw from the likes of EGO Power+.
There are corded electric chainsaws available however their use is extremely limited to very basic logging up and workshop type work. For the full freedom and versatility of a petrol saw without the fuss of fuel then EGO are well worth considering. Readers of our Cordless Blower Guide will know that we rate EGO’s products very highly and their chainsaws are no exception.
The CS1401E comes as a kit with the 2.0Ah battery and standard charger included within the price. The 2.0Ah battery provides enough power for up to 100 cuts – ample enough power for most logging up or garden clearance jobs. Additional batteries can be purchased for larger jobs with the 4.0Ah and 7.5Ah batteries providing up to 220 and 450 cuts respectively.
The 14” Oregon bar and chain combined with a high-efficiency brushless motor provides a smooth cut and the tool free chain tensioning knob enables easy adjustment of the blade without the need to go rummaging through the tool box.
Surprisingly, the CS1401E isn’t as light as one might expect weighing in at 5kg with a 2.0Ah battery attached. Many of you may have been drawn to a battery chainsaw thinking that it would be the lightweight option and sadly this is probably the CS1401E’s biggest drawback (shortly followed by it’s clunky name!). What you do get however, is a saw that won’t cost you a fortune in fuel (charging the battery costs roughly 70% less on average than buying two-stroke) which incidentally has zero operational emissions. You’ll also be making an investment in the future of garden machinery with an industry leading lithium ion battery and charger which can be used in EGO’s superb range of lawnmowers, hand tools and multi-tools.
Run Time with 2.0Ah: Up to 100 Cuts
Battery Charge Time: 40 minutes
Weight with Battery: 5.0kg
Guide Bar Length: 14" (36cm)
Chain Pitch: 3/8" - 1.1mm Gauge
Chain Speed: 12.0m/s
Warranty Saw: 5 year Domestic / 1 year Commercial
Warranty Battery: 3 year Domestic / 1 year Commercial
The 435 is one of Husqvarna’s most popular chainsaws and it’s easy to see why with such an abundance of helpful features on offer. Hassle free starting is ensured through the inclusion of Husqvarna’s patented Smart Start® function which reduces the effort required to pull the start cord by 40% ensuring the engine is easy to start even on cold mornings. Power is provided by a dynamic 40.9cc X-Torq® two-stroke engine which has been designed to increase power whilst decreasing fuel consumption by 20% and reducing emissions by up to 75% allowing you to get the most out of your saw without the need to keep stopping. Furthermore, the transparent window in the 0.37 litre fuel tank makes it easier to check the fuel level while you work.
As manoeuvrable as it is powerful, the Husqvarna 435 is a brilliant all-round chainsaw in that it is both lightweight and responsive enough to provide optimum accuracy as well as being vigorous enough to efficiently chew through tough hardwoods and knotty trunks.
User comfort is ensured with the ergonomically designed soft grip handle and the LowVib® anti-vibration dampeners absorb vibration, minimising the strain on your hands and arms during use. Supplied as standard with a 15” bar, the .325” pitch chain can be easily adjusted with the side-mounted chain tensioner and the handy felling marks make it easier for you to fell trees in the direction you want, ensuring that you’re working both smart and safe!
Maintaining the saw has been made simple with the quick-release air filter and a centrifugal air cleaning system with a snap-lock cylinder cover. The forged three-piece crankshaft offers maximum durability, thereby ensuring long-term reliability and high-quality results with even the most demanding applications.
With such a wealth of innovative features all packed into the modestly sized Husqvarna 435 it’s easy to see why this chainsaw is so popular with professionals and home users alike.
Power Output: 1.6kW
Dry Weight: 4.2kg
Bar Length: 15" (38cm)
Chain Pitch: 0.325"
Chain Speed: 17.3m/s
Fuel Tank Capacity: 0.37L
Warranty: 2 Years
Echo’s CS-390ESX chainsaw has been built with the professional user in mind however it is lightweight and user-friendly enough to be used by domestic gardeners with demanding pruning or felling needs.
All of Echo’s chainsaws are built to a professional quality which is why many of the features found on the CS-390ESX are also found on Echo’s smaller saws such as the CS-310ES discussed earlier in this blog. Features such as the “ES” Easy Start system with digitally controlled CDI for faster starting and smooth acceleration are a standard. Other standard features include the anti-icing system, the G-Force engine air pre-cleaner and a durable dual-post chain brake handle for increased durability.
What sets the CS-390 apart from the CS-310 (and from the competition too) is its fantastic power-to-weight ratio with the light yet durable magnesium body which houses the rugged 38.4cc two-stroke engine, capable of producing 1.9kW of power whilst keeping the total weight of the saw down to a comfortable 4.5kg without fuel. The fuel tank is itself particularly generous, holding as it does 0.42 litres of fuel enabling you to work for longer without stopping.
Prolonged chainsaw use can become a strain on the hands and arms; Echo understand the need for comfort which is why the CS-390ESX comes with a fatigue reducing 5-point anti-vibration system.
On-the-go maintenance is made easy with the top access chain tensioner and the tool-less air filter cover can be easily accessed even when wearing chainsaw gloves. The internal clutch is as durable as it is easy to maintain and ensures quick and efficient chain replacement. User safety is improved with the inclusion of a rotating chain catcher, just in case things get too tough.
A hardworking saw requires the most durable parts which is why all CS-390ESX’s comes with a 15” Sugihara guide bar. Sugihara bars have been produced by the Sugihara family in the same factory in Japan since 1967 and have become the benchmark of quality that other manufacturers strive to match. “Sugihara bars are the hardest wearing bars out there, even our laminated bars will outlast rivals” – they proudly proclaim on their website and we’ve seen no reason to disagree with them!
In short, with Echo’s CS-390ESX you will be getting a professional quality saw that won't intimidate the domestic user and will definitely provide you with many years of reliable service.
Power Output: 1.9kW
Dry Weight: 4.5kg
Bar Length: 15" (36cm)
Chain Pitch: 0.325"
Chain Speed: 23.4m/s
Fuel Tank Capacity: 0.42L
Warranty: 5 Year Domestic / 2 Year Commercial
We hope you have found this guide helpful. Make sure you also check out our tips for using your saw safely - working safe is working smart!
If you need further guidance to help you choose then our experienced and knowledgeable sales team are available to help over the phone and in store 6 days a week – why not get in touch today?